Broadband speed bits or bytes – ISP PRs gets it wrong

I just lurve it when I see technical cockups in advertising & pr blurb from technical companies selling technical products – broadband sped bits or bytes.

It happened in this blog post ostensibly written by TalkTalk CTO  Clive Dorsman.
Now it’s BTs turn. On page 8 of today’s Times their half page advert tells us that with Infinity for business you will be downloading a big 200Mb file in less than half a minute. That’s because Infinity is “as much as 6 times faster” than the UK average broadband speed which the BBC told us in March of this year is 12Mbps. So a 72Mbps broadand service can download a 200Mb file in under half a minute. By my calcs it should take less than 3 seconds, ok a bit more if you chuck in some packet overhead.

If I were BT I’d get a new advertising agency. This one’s rubbish. Even if you accept that very few people get the max advertised “up to” speed of “Infinity” broadband it would not be unreasonable to say “(up to) less than 5 seconds”.

You can check out our broadband here. According to BT it’s a lot faster than theirs 🙂 Broadband is broadband is broadband, right? Wrong.

Photo is of the BT ad. Serendipity eh. I only read a hard copy paper about once a year. I’m only doing so today cos I’m en route to Laandan on a rare trip without my laptop. ISPA council, AGM & awards. Wish us luck:)

Update 6/7/2014 This subject is getting almost boring as I periodically meet people who get their broadband speed bits or bytes mixed up. When I point out the error of their ways they shrug it off. However to us purists it does matter 🙂


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Published by Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

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  1. Trefor Davies


  1. “Even if you accept that very few people get the max advertised “up to” speed of “Infinity” broadband” – has to be at least 10%, ASA rules apply.

  2. File size is measured in MegaBytes, data transfer is measured in Megabits.
    A 200MB files ( I believe this is what was trying to be conveyed ) would take about 30 seconds to download on a 72Mbps connetion with overhead thrown in.

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